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“How do homeschooling children socialized?” That is one of the most popular question when people just know your children are homeschooled. Homeschooling children still sounds weird in many different parts of the world. They might wonder how the homeschooling parents have grabbed the children's right to be socialized with other children at the same age or with peers. To a matter of worst, some people just think how the children will grow in the future without any connection to the peers.
The Way Homeschooling Children Socialize
Children are still children and they are still human being, who are social creatures. All person is unique and not everyone can socialize easily once they meet other people. Even when you go to school, the ability to adapt in socialization is different. In other words, I would like to say that homeschooling children socialize differently one from another, but it also happens with the schooling children.
For our family, children socialize by doing several activities:
Parents or children can make appointment to meet and play together. For younger children , they can either visit each other's house or meet in a certain place. The teens usually want to go out to the mall or watching the cinema. Playdates don't have to be with other homeschooling children, but can be with other children we know well.
Children also had penpal, but it didn't take a long time. Well, is it probably they are boys? Anyway, written communication can also one way to communicate for children. There are several FB groups for homeschooling penpals. Parents often match their children based on the location, ages, and interest.
Children can chat using telephone, social media, and real life meeting up. Well, it is not different from how humans communicate. Please don't consider homeschooling children weird in the way the socialize. They chat about their interest, trends, and other topics as well.
Of course, some children need longer time to adapt in conversations. It is not different from other children and adults at all.
Where do Homeschooling Children Socialize?
There are a lot of places and media homeschooling children can buil up thr social skills. They don't make ftiends or acquaintances limited by the classroom, school, or age.
There are a lot of extra activities where children can get friends and get socialized. By joining some extra activities, my children can get acquainted with other children and adults from different backgrounds and characters. I often find my sons chatting with his friends as well as their mothers in the swimming club when I pick him up late.
By doing so, children learn how to behave, how to maintain relationship, and how to filter the habits, cultures, and values naturally. They can get advice and learn from the adults the experience they have. They can know some trend from similar aged peers.
I give a chance for kids to play with the online games in facebook in limited time during weekends. During that time, they usually have some conversation with their friend virtually. They chat about the games they play. They share some information about the recent trend. They also have some appointment to play date or to watch movie in the cinema.
Kids participate in the homeschooling support groups. They have regular activities with other homeschooling children with ranges of ages. During the activities, children get to know each other by playing, chatting and work together. They continue the social activies either virtually or real life in different extra activities.
Communities are places to share the same interest with other adults or children. In this way, children will learn the different ways to discuss between children and adults. Therefore, joining communities will enrich socialization styles of children.
We don't join any coop, but our homeschooling support group functions as a coop sometimes. In thid case, children will learn how to communicate in term of academic subjects. They usually work in groups so they learn how cooperate and compete with other children.
Writing letters or email to penpals is one way to communicate with others using written languages. Besides training the writing skills, children can have more perspective towards other cultures considering everyone has unique environment. It will be more obvious when they have penpals from different countries.
My son had a penpal from overseas, but it was very expensive for the postal fee. We decided to do writing by emails. Well, our children will be happy to have email penpals. We will scan his written letter and attach in parents's email.
There is just a few children in our neighborhood to play together, but children always greet our neighbors when they meet each other. We try to model it to emphasize that we might need each other in the future.
In the past, they still often kept in touch when they cycled. Because of the crowded routine, they rarely have time to cycle anymore. Anyway, I am not going to force them having activities in the name of socialization. Let it just happens naturally.
Here are some books that will help you with socialization matters:
Adelien Tan is a mother of three awesome boys and a wife of a great husband. They are a home education family who live in Surabaya, Indonesia, where home education is still very rare. English is her foreign language, but She tries to use it in blogging.